Natural Tasking of Robots Based on Human Interaction Cues

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
The Stata Center
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

PI: Rodney A. Brooks

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[Project Overview], [Approach], [Research Questions], [Achieved Deliverables], [Future Deliverables], [People], [Publications]

Cog turns a crank
M4 robot head drawing
Kismet plays with a frog
Coco the gorilla robot

Project Overview

When a person gives a task to another person there are at least two sorts of very human processes at work. At the surface level, each person both displays and perceives cross-cultural cues which regulate the interaction. Through facial expressions, body posture, and utterances, the student unconsciously speeds or slows the rate at which the instructor is teaching and directs the instructor to provide more information when necessary. At a deeper level, the transfer of information is successful because both student and instructor share a common sense of how the world works. Both student and teacher share not only knowledge about how objects behave (an intuitive physics) but also knowledge about how other people behave (an intuitive psychology). Our challenge is to make commanding robots as intuitive and natural as commanding professional soldiers by providing a natural and intuitive interface that capitalizes on a person's intuitive understanding of how to communicate, and by instilling into robots that same deep understanding of the world which is shared by people.

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[Project Overview], [Approach], [Research Questions], [Achieved Deliverables], [Future Deliverables], [People], [Publications]